(**) Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning our company, JCHQ Publishing will get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through the links, but at no additional cost to you.
Are you thinking to become a property manager in Indiana? If so, this is the perfect career guide for you!
As a property manager, your duties may include finding and screening prospective tenants for a property, negotiating the lease terms. You could also be responsible for rent collection, property inspection, maintenance, repair, providing updates, and communicating with the property owner.
To become a property manager in Indiana, an applicant must be obtain a real estate license. The individual can be a managing broker or a real estate broker who works under the supervision of a managing broker. The real estate broker licensee is required to be at least 18 years old, complete 90-hour of pre-license education, pass the broker exam, submit an application, a fee and a background check to the Indiana Real Estate Commission.
In this guide, I will focus on the steps on getting the “real estate broker” license, which is the entry license level. So you may begin your property management career by joining a licensed brokerage firm. I will also cover the income updates and other FAQs about this profession.
But before we start, I want to give a brief disclaimer. This post is not intended as legal advice or state/federal real estate training. It is for general information only. Please always follow your State laws and best practices.
When choosing a real estate school, I prefer one where you could take the courses online. This way, you could study at your own pace whenever and wherever. RealEstateExpress is a trustworthy real estate education provider. You may click here to see whether they offer pre-licensing course in your state. (**)
8 Steps to Become a Property Manager in Indiana
Step 1: Meet the eligibility requirement
- Citizen of the United States or lawfully admitted alien
- At least 18 years of age
- Have a valid Social Security Number
Step 2: Complete the pre-license education
You are required to take 90 hours of course which covers different real estate concept. It would include topics such as:
- real estate basics and law
- real estate brokerage operation
- real estate finance
- real estate contracts
- Indiana real estate license law and real estate commission rules
- closing real estate transactions
- real estate brokerage
- earnest money and trust accounts
- property management
- financing instruments and loan products
- real estate loan underwriting
- current and geographic real estate topics
It can be taken in a classroom setting or online, but it must from an approved education provider.
Step 3: Pass the Indiana Real Estate Broker Exam
The exam is to test your knowledge on the real estate topics that are covered in the pre-licensing education. You must write it within 365 days that you completed the required courses. Make sure you bring along the course completion certificate to the test center.
The Indiana Real Estate Broker Exam consists of two portions, the National portion and State portion. There are 125 items and you’ll be given 240 minutes in writing it. The required passing rate is 60/80 on the national portion and 38/50 on the state portion.
The test is administered by the PSI. To register, you need to complete their online exam registration and provide them with the required documents. There is a $53 examination fee which could be paid by credit card. Also, since the exam is a computerized test, your result will appear immediately on the screen.
RealEstateExpress is an online school that I like. They offer pre-licensing courses and also have excellent exam prep materials. Their programs have a “Pass or Don’t Pay Guarantee” in most of the states. That’s how confident they are. You may click here to view their courses. (**)
Step 4: Work with a licensed property management company
After you pass the exam, you must work with a property management company who holds the managing broker license in Indiana. This is the firm who would sponsor your real estate license. However, not all brokerage provide property management services to their clients. Most brokerages focus only on the buy-sell side of the business. So make sure you find one that specializes in property management.
At the time that I’m writing this guide, I can see online job postings looking for property managers in Indiana. Many are from Indianapolis and Zionsville. You may search through job forums such as ZipRecruiter, Glassdoor, or LinkedIn.
There are many property companies out there, but all are suitable for you. As you start in this industry, it will help if you work for a company that could provide you with proper training and mentorship. And you would likely start out working as an assistant to a property manager.
Rather than having you reinvent the wheels, an established property management company can show you a standard procedure in working with clients.
Step 5: Register with the Indiana Real Estate Commission
Now, you may submit the application in registering for the real estate broker license. In there, it will ask you details such as whether you have completed the pre-licensing education, exam, and who is your Managing Broker. There is also a $60 fee payable to the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency.
Once you have completed the application and have all the necessary documents ready, you may mail them to the IN Real Estate Commission. Their mailing address can be found in the top right corner of the form.
Keep in mind that your application must be received within one year of the date that you passed the exam.
Step 6: Go through background check
The Indiana Real Estate Commission is part of the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency (IPLA), which responsible for issuing licenses and regulating the real estate industry. To protect the public interest, they will conduct a criminal background check (CBC) on you.
You should only submit it after the commission receives your application. So it’s better to wait for their email notification. Then you will visit the Identogo webpage and schedule an appointment for digital fingerprinting.
At the day of the appointment, remember to bring one of the following:
- Driver license;
- Sate issued identification card;
- Photo student ID/ work ID/ Alien ID with date of birth;
The process should take less than 5 minutes. At the end of your fingerprinting session, you will be provided with for proof of fingerprinting.
Step 7: Complete the post-education requirement
After you get the real estate license, you need to take 30 hours of approved post licensing courses within the first two years. But you will be exempt from meeting the regular continuing education requirements until a full 2-year CE cycle is done.
Step 8: Maintain the real estate broker license
Make sure you’ll do so before the expiry date, else, there will be an extra $50 late fee. Of course, the implication of unable to place a business is even more troublesome.
You also need to complete 12 hours of CE every year from July 1st to June 30th. The curriculum would include the following:
- Indiana real estate transactions (6 hours)
- Financing (6 hours)
- Business Planning/ Sales and Marketing (10 hours)
- Negotiating and Counseling Skills (5 hours)
- Cultural diversity and fair housing (1 hour)
- Construction (2 hours)
Here’s a snippet of what a property manager thinks about this career
“I’ve been a property manager for six years, and for three years before that, I was an admin and then an assistant property manager. Being a property manager is an excellent career. The schedules are long days but flexible. If you are a parent, you will be able to attend your kid’s functions as long as you are willing to work late to make up. It’s not a micro-managed industry, so you must have the drive and high standards all on your own, else you won’t last very long. The mistakes are bigger and cost more money than other real estate lines, but the pay is great, and you can create the life balance you need if you work at it.
My advice to someone wanting to get into property management is to learn everything you can as soon as you can. Take advantage of resources and lean on experience people’s knowledge and experience.”
– Nandi Cavil, Commercial Property Manager at Cushman & Wakefield
Here’s another post where you can read more on Nandi’s thoughts about the property management profession. In there, you can find my research and analysis on this career path and valuable insights from other property managers.
FAQ on being a Property Manager in Indiana
1) How long does it take to become a property manager in Indiana?
It takes approximately four months to become a property manager in Indiana. But it also depends on the time it takes you to complete the pre-license course, exam, background check, application, and get employed by a licensed property management firm.
You may speed up in getting in becoming a property manager by taking online courses. This way, you’ll have the flexibility to finish the pre-licensing education at a quicker pace.
2) How much does it cost to become a property manager in Indiana?
It costs approximately $588 to become a property manager in Indiana. That is the cost to get the real estate broker license and here is the breakdown:
- Pre-license courses $300 to $440
- License fee $60
- Exam fee $53
- Background check $35
3) Can you become a property manager with a felony in Indiana?
It is possible for an applicant with felony to obtain a real estate license and become a property manager in Indiana. It is subjected to the Indiana Real Estate Commission’s evaluation. They typically be more alarmed on incidents that impact the applicant’s honesty, trustworthiness, character, and integrity.
So don’t get discouraged as everyone has a past. The most important is that you can demonstrate that you will serve the public in a fair, honest, and open manner.
Here’s another post that covers how to apply for a real estate license with a felony record. In there, you’ll find practical ideas which could help your application.
4) How much do property manager make in Indiana?
Property managers in Indiana make an average annual income of $99,083. It typically range between $86,010 and $113,992. (*) Your earning as a property manager would depend on your skills, knowledge and experience in managing the properties. The type and number of real estate in your managing portfolio may also affect your compensation.
At the beginning phase of your property management career, you could be working as an assistant for a property manager. So your earning could be limited at that time.
But once you have developed the necessary skillset and demonstrated your ability to work independently, there should be a significant improvement to your earning.
(*) Source: Salary.com May 27, 2021
Here’s salary guide you may be interested. In there, you’ll find the income figures for residential and commercial property managers. What makes one earn more than others? How do education, experience, and certification play a factor in earning?
5) I have more questions about the Indiana real estate license, whom should I contact?
You could contact the Indiana Real Estate Commission:
- Phone: (317) 234-3009
- Email: email@example.com
- Fax: (317) 233-4236
- Address: Professional Licensing Agency, Attn: Indiana Real Estate Commission. 402 W. Washington Street, Room W072, Indianapolis, Indiana 46204
5 Practical Strategies to Become a Successful Property Manager in Indiana
1) Obtain the real estate license
Although there are certain activities you may perform without a real estate license, the things you can do are very limited. Once you have a real estate license, you may work under a licensed managing broker in providing key components of property management. For example, rent, list, negotiate property rental agreement, rents collection.
If you want to move up in the field, getting a real estate salesperson license is a “must”.
Since you are reading up to this point, I bet you must be interested in becoming a property manager. If that requires you to get a real estate salesperson license in your state, your first step is to complete the pre-license education. You should select one that has an excellent reputation and a long-term track record of satisfying students. RealEstateExpress is exactly that! You may click here to check it out yourself. (**)
2) Get enhanced education on property management
You could be feeling lost when starting in this field. One of the best to equip yourself to get the proper education from a trusted provider.
You may also consider taking the following courses to equip yourself with the property management knowledge. They are offered by Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM). IREM is an affiliate of the National Association of REALTORS®.
- Managing Residential Properties (**)
- Managing Commercial Properties (**)
- Managing Condominium and Homeowners Associations (**)
Even though they are not part of the pre-license education requirement, your enhanced knowledge will help to set you apart from others in the industry.
3) Stay up-to-date with the real estate laws
Property managers are constantly tasked with new responsibilities and challenges. With the rise of online rental applications, environmental health and safety requirements, it’s important for property managers to be up-to-date on real estate laws and regulations.
For example, can you charge an application fee? Is it okay to run a background check on to prospective tenants? What happen if the tenants violate the lease agreement? Who will be responsible for the maintenance, repair or damages?
Here are some real estate laws and programs you should become familiar with:
- Chapter 1- General Provisions
- Chapter 2- Recording Leases Longer Than 3 Years
- Chapter 2.9- Application of Residential Landlord-Tenant Statutes
- Chapter 3 – Security Deposits
- Chapter 4- Moving and Storage of Tenant’s Property
- Chapter 5 – Rental Agreements; Right of Access
- Chapter 6- Emergency Possessory Orders
- Chapter 7 – Tenant Obligations
PropertyManagement.com has an excellent resources page which covers the above in details. You can find their link in the reference section at the end of this post.
4) Network with other real estate professionals
You may consider joining the National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM). This allows you to connect with other property managers, thus learn from their valuable experience and share ideas with one another. You will also find updates on the housing markets, changes to the laws and regulations.
Another group you may consider is the Indiana Association of REALTORS. It consists of mostly real estate professionals. If you plan to run your own property management company, this can be a great referral source for your business. They also have great resources such as the classes, events, housing reports and industry updates.
5) Start your own property management company
Rather than working for someone else, you may consider getting a real estate broker license and start a property management company. This allows you to hire other licensed property managers, thus, lead to a scalable business model.
However, running a company is very different from working as an employed property manager. You need to figure out all the different aspects of the business, such as marketing, branding, prospecting, hiring, training, and accounting.
The expenses will also be a lot higher. In addition to the broker license, you also need to account for business insurance, staff’s salary and benefits, office rent, furniture, office supplies, software, many more.
To obtain a real estate managing broker license in Indiana, you must:
- Have at least 2 years of active real estate work experience;
- Complete 24 hours of pre-license courses from an approved education provider;
- Submit an application and a license fee to the Indiana Real Estate Commission
- Complete CE and license renewal requirement
Disclaimer: The information in this post is for general information only, and not intend to provide any advice. They are subjected to change without any notice, and not guaranteed to be error-free. Some of the posts on RealEstateCareerHQ.com may contain views and opinions from the interviewees. They do not reflect our view or position.
(**) Affiliate Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you. Our company, JCHQ Publishing will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase after clicking on the link. Please understand that we include them based on our experience or the research on these companies or products, and we recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions we make if you decide to buy something through the links. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals.
- Salary.com – Property Manager in Indiana (source)
- National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM) (source)
- Indiana Real Estate Commission (Source)
- Criminal Back Ground Checks (source)
- Indiana Association of REALTORS (source)
- PropertyManagement.com – Indiana Property Management Laws (source)